Banking on Digital Growth
Banking on Digital Growth

Episode · 1 year ago

98) #ExponentialInsights - The Most Human Company Wins

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

We live in a world where no one wants to be sold to. We have ad blockers. We pay subscription fees to Netflix to avoid commercials.

You can’t buy a victory with advertising anymore.

No, these days, the most human company wins.

That wisdom comes from my latest guest, Mark Schaefer, Chief Operating Officer at B Squared Media and Author of Marketing Rebellion, in which he navigates the breakneck speeds of digital marketing and explains why human-centered companies are the ones who will emerge victorious.

In this episode, we discuss:

- Why advertising dollars are less powerful in modern marketing

- Why human-centered marketing is the path forward

- How personal branding helps make your company more human

You can find this interview and many more by subscribing to Banking on Digital Growth on Apple Podcasts, on Spotify, or here.

Listening on a desktop & can’t see the links? Just search for Banking on Digital Growth in your favorite podcast player.
 

...we're in a society today, people don't want to be sold to their sick of it, they run away from it, they block it, they avoid it and if they get a whiff that you're selling something, they're not going to walk away, they're going to run away. Mhm mm. Right. Mhm. You're listening to banking on digital growth. With James robert lay a podcast that empowers financial brand marketing, sales and leadership teams to maximize their digital growth potential By generating 10 times more loans and deposits. Today's episode is part of the exponential insight series where James robert interviews the industry's top marketing sales and fintech leaders, sharing practical wisdom to exponentially elevate you and your team. Let's get into the show greetings and hello, I am James robert, ley and welcome to the 98th episode of the Banking on Digital Growth podcast. Today's episode is part of the exponential insight series and I'm excited to welcome MArc Schaefer to the show. Mark is a globally recognized speaker, educator, business consultant and author. He is also the co host of the Marketing Companion, one of the Top 10 Marketing Podcast on iTunes. Mark is also the best selling author of eight books, including known marketing rebellion and the newly released cumulative advantage. I look forward to talking to Mark today about the opportunities for financial brands to build momentum for digital growth by being human centric in a post Covid digital First world. Welcome to the show, Mark. Well, it's great to be here and we are certainly going to have some exponential insights today. We are and I'm excited about this because you and I have been dialoguing back and forth on linkedin and it's finally good to just get to connect in person, quote unquote before we hit record. Already making some connections and I want to come back to before we get there. What is just one thing that is going well for you right now, personally or professionally? That's good. Well, I mean 2020 was pretty bad year from a lot of different perspectives. So you know, and I really feel like the lights are green right now. Public speaking is coming back. I just did my first Live conference in like 400 days in Miami and I got to tell you how just absolutely energizing it was to be in front of a live audience and people are so enthusiastic, so happy to be there. It was very well run by the way in terms of being really conservative, still around social distancing and disinfecting the room and so forth. But you know, I think people are feeling better about coming back gathering and that's, that's a powerful thing. I'm right there with you. I've gotten back on the road a little bit. Things like you said, the green lights are coming...

...back on. I'm excited about that. And one of the things that you mentioned before we hit record is you're doing some work with the american banker, which is how you and I had connected previously. And I want to come back to that because something that you noted at the unconventional conference last year you shared, it's going to be the most human bank that will win. And I think that's important to start this discussion here. Number one, what does that mean to be the most human bank? What is that? And why do you believe that's the case? Well, this is certainly one of the major themes in the marketing rebellion book. The subtitle is the most human company wins. So first if you think about, we're really moving through a world where we see less ads, right? I watch a lot of tv. I never see ads because I'm watching it on Hulu or netflix. I'm listening to the radio all the time. Radio, quote unquote, right? I'm listening to music but it's on Spotify. I don't hear as I listen to audio books, I don't hear ads. Advertising consumption is down 95%. Mhm. And the companies that are wedded to this broadcast model that are connected to these, you know this ad agency model just aren't relevant. And I'd like to connect this to what we saw in the pandemic at the beginning of the pandemic. We're bombarded by many messages from big companies that said we are with you in these unprecedented times. And it became a joke. And actually there was a video on Youtube that says all pandemic advertising is the same. And they have these quick cuts and they show the music and the narration and the words from all these companies are the same because their connection to human beings as being dictated by an advertising agency. Now you look at what are the companies that are really standing out there, The local companies right through the community companies, the community banks that are realizing we've got to roll up our sleeves and really do something because so many people are suffering. James. One of my favorite stories actually comes from Houston, your town where you're from. We just had this big ice storm, right? And my brother lives in Houston and lost power and lost Heat and lost water for four or 5 days. And there was the Big Furniture Company in Houston that didn't lose power. And they said if you're cold, come warm yourself right mattress, mack mack mack man is a hero, hope to hero. And so he had thousands of people come into his store every day he brought in food he set up a play area for Children. He had 500 people a night sleeping at his store on the...

...mattresses. Now what does it have to do with marketing? It has everything to do with my marketing because marketing is about creating an emotional connection between what you do and your customers, your audience and during this pandemic especially this is a time to not only create an emotional connection but become legendary. And by the way, how did I hear about this story? It was on the front page of the new york times. If I lived in Houston I can promise you I would never buy furniture from anybody else because of this. Amazing just generosity. And that's what I mean by human centered marketing, these big brands that are wedded to these advertising structures. They were built on advertising impressions, but the brands of the future will be built on human impressions. How do we show up? And oh by the way, of course we don't trust ads, but we do trust people we trust, you know who we trust. Bank presidents, founders, subject matter experts, our friends, our neighbors. So this is the way the world is going. And definitely the pandemic accelerated this. Many people said, Mark, the things you predicted in the marketing rebellion book are coming true right before our eyes in this pandemic. Absolutely. And when you're talking about mattress mack, I can't help but think I was maybe a junior or a senior in college at the University of Houston. I was part of the American Marketing Association and mattress mat came and he spoke and he left a big impression on me and the think of all the work, the good that he has done for the city of Houston time and time again. Whether it was the ice storm or the hurricanes, I mean he's really stepped up and that's why I said hometown hero right there. And and you're right. It's about making this emotional connection. And when you think about banking, who is that? It's the Ceo, the president, the loan officer, the subject matter expert. And you recently wrote on linkedin. When you meet somebody new, you naturally start evaluating them as a potential business contact or even a friend. And from the research that Princeton shared, they show that two factors, people value both our warmth and competency. And as you mentioned here, it's these big brands, their wedded to their, their legacy advertising days. You can't make a connection through the old mediums. So how might financial brands? Bank presidents ceos loan officers, subject matter experts might be able to convey warmth and competency in a post covid world that it's all about the human connection and the relationship and and and how might a marketing rebellion be needed for this to actually happen? Well, there are lots of ideas in the book is a pretty dense book, but you...

...know, thinking about banking and I have done a lot of work in the banking world and I just know the importance of bank and banking and the and the importance of personal relationships. The first thing is, I think one of the most powerful comments in the book was from a fellow that I know he was at Nike at the time and he said success isn't being in a community, it's being of a community, right. Being in a community is giving a donation to the United way or having your name on the little league team uniform. Being of the community is really getting down and helping people at their moment of need. I have a friend and someone who I look up to martin Lindstrom suggested that we ought to take half of our marketing budget right now and just use it to help people and I don't think that's that's really far off, that's maybe the best thing we could be doing in marketing right now. The other thing that I think is so important is we need to show up, we need to show up as human beings. So increasingly the personal brand is the brand. I have a story in, in the book about a woman who just was so kind to me, so nice to me at a hotel, she was the lady just standing behind the reception desk and she became the brand for me I stay at that hotel every time I go to teach at Rutgers University I go there because of her. She is the brand and there's no amount of advertising that could make me stay at that hotel. I stay there because of the relationship of form with her, she's my facebook friend. Right? So how do we show up in a way where were known in the community increasingly the personal brand is the brand, especially for smaller banks. Now the other thing, as we start moving out of this post covid world, there is a special power in bringing people together and this was one of the most inspiring things I learned. It's sort of energized me to start bringing people together. And I actually started an event after I wrote this book, I thought you know what I want to bring people together, I started a little marketing retreat and it was probably the best thing I've done in my whole professional career. You know, the most human company wins. An easy place to start is to think about how do we be more human at every touch point? How do we show our hearts are smiles, our passion, especially our compassion now. And one of the ways to do that is through maybe an event is to bring the community. Look, maybe you we...

...reach some sort of vaccination milestone and the bank says it's time to celebrate, right? So bringing people together, gathering, letting them see you, letting them hear you. Those are all powerful ways that we can create a real a human presence instead of an advertising presence. Absolutely. And when you talk about being of the community versus being in the community, I see so many financial brands, a lot of community banks, a lot of credit and they still write those checks, but that's only just one step. And you're saying we can go deeper, we can make those deeper level connections by being of the mattress MACk is a great example of this. And I want to come back to this idea of the personal brand because to me that's where the human connections made eric cook just shared recently on the podcast. You know, people do business with people, people bank with people. And I think that this personal brand, it's been a recurring theme Serendipitously, probably had 89 10 episodes of individuals who have built personal brands in the space within this podcast, who have shared their stories. I'd like to get your take on this because there's a big difference is you've written about in your book, known that being known is different than being famous. And I think it's the idea of being famous that tends to hold a lot of people back from even thinking about considering building a personal brand of a personal digital brand, Can you describe the differences of being known versus being famous and where some people might be held back from taking that trip? That journey? Yeah, that's a great question. You know, everybody has a personal brand, whether you like it or not or admit it or not. A personal brand is what people think of you after they accumulate a certain number of observations. They may think you're punctual and creative and funny and reliable or friendly or whatever. So this is being created in people's minds and we have a remarkable opportunity to amplify the best of who we are through the web through social media, especially during the pandemic. We may not have the opportunity to see your customers talk to our customers every month or every week, but there might be a way we can connect to them on a regular basis through social media by being accessible and friendly and and connected. So the truth is it's really the only thing that matters long term in our careers. Right. A funny little story I just thought of. I was asked a few years ago to be the keynote speaker at a big marketing conference, may be the biggest in the in the country. And we started talking for a while and the guy that organized the conference, I knew him quite a bit and we're talking about my career and my corporate days and I said, I have won these awards,...

I've got seven patents and I managed this big global team and blah blah, blah, blah blah. He said, you know Mark, I've known you for about eight years and I never knew any of that stuff. I said, well, let me ask you something that all my achievements in my career don't matter to you. And this event, the only thing that matters is that I'm known right? He said, I guess that's true. And I said if I went away for a while and I wasn't really known anymore, you wouldn't be inviting me to speak on this big stage. He said, I suppose that's right too. So being known in your community is the only sustainable competitive advantage you have. And if you are known and your competitors aren't, you'll win. You have more opportunities. More phone calls returned. More doors are being opened, more deals being closed because people know how you are, how you think they have some emotional connection to you and that's a huge benefit. Technology has transformed our world and digital has changed the way consumers shop for and buy financial services forever. Now, consumers make purchase decisions long before they walk into a branch. If they walk into a branch at all, but your financial brand still wants to grow loans and deposits, we get it. Digital growth can feel confusing, frustrating and overwhelming for any financial brand, marketing and sales leader, but it doesn't have to because James robert wrote the book that guides you every step of the way along your digital growth journey, visit www dot digital growth dot com to get a preview of his best selling book banking on digital growth or order a copy right now for you and your team from amazon inside, you'll find a strategic marketing manifesto that was written to transform financial brands and it is packed full of practical and proven insights you can start using today to confidently generate 10 times more loans and deposits. Now back to the show, let's talk about that because being known almost saved you specifically last year um with with you, with your business. Exactly, but I want to go back because I can hear a lot of bankers, a lot of credit and leaders who are listening right now thinking, well this is Mark, he's built the platform, but you had to start somewhere right, like, like you just, you didn't have this idea of being known out of the gate. Go back to before that time period and what what does it take for someone to build that level of thought, leadership of influence of even down to the local community level? Because it's not just something that can be done, say globally or nationally can be done even locally if if I'm not mistaken. Yeah,...

...well, first of all, and maybe this is one of the great lessons of my book is I didn't set up to be known in my field. I mean I stumbled around and fumbled around for years and sort of came across the path of of how to do it and uh would have saved me a lot of time if I had my book back then. So that became really part of my journey, is to see how do you become known? Is there a model? Is there a path? And in fact There is, I interviewed 97 people from all around the world, including quite a few wealth management and banking people and they all sort of did the same for things. Now, the most important thing is not necessarily any sort of special education or special insight. Some of the case studies in my book, they started out as homeless people. I mean they started literally with nothing, but if you show up consistently, if you create constant content consistently, the path does work. I do coaching calls and a guy hired me for an hour and he said, well I can tell you that blogging doesn't work. I said, what do you mean? He said, well in 2015 I wrote three blog posts and nothing worked now. Of course it isn't. And as you know, so what are you doing with your podcast? Right. You are becoming known, you are creating A brand of generosity and your intellect and your helpfulness to your audience. And I think you said you got your up to 98 episodes, 98 episodes were so close to 100 in less than a year. Yeah, so let's see, consistency is more important than genius. Right? You gotta show up, show up, show up, show up, right? And it may take a period of months, it may take a period of years for your brand to really start taking off but it works, it absolutely does and it's just a matter of being kind helpful and consistent. I want to touch on that because you, you mentioned being kind being helpful, being consistent. You know, one of the things that I write and teach about in banking on digital growth, the book is the mantra help first sell second, it's so easy to just, you know, specifically when thinking about banking just to want to sell, sell sell. But the help has to come first and a lot of times before the help we even have to give people hope, hope that there's a better future ahead before they're even able to receive help. And I think about like the podcast for example, this is not about me, this is not about James robert, ley, this is not about banking on digital growth, it's really about bringing other people in, inviting them...

...into the narrative, whether it be someone like Mark Shaffer or someone like eric Cook or even the dear listener, it's I think it's come back to the point, it's being of the community and building a community almost of sorts of like minds to me that's that's another area of opportunity, is for these local institutions to start their own podcast series. You know, before we hit record, we're talking about the town of Wimberley texas right outside of Austin and fascinating story, They have their own radio station now, because before it was either you could tune into san Antonio or you could tune into Austin and now they have their own little radio station and it's in the town square and it's in a fish bowl, like so you can look in. And a lot of that was because of the floods that hit Wimberley before they knew they needed their little local radio station. To me, the opportunities to become known to help others to transfer knowledge at scale digital provides the exponential value factor in that. And when I'm thinking about this, how might practically speaking a Ceo, a president, a loan officer, branch manager, build these personal brands and maybe what role might marketing play to provide some training and education to these others who it might just not be a natural thought. Practice makes perfect if you will. Well, first I do want to build on one of the key ideas that you had there and I think this is something that is creating a lot of the angst and marketing today is this idea of helping instead of selling, especially if you're a public company got this pressure to increase profits quarter by quarter by quarter. And we're in a society today, people don't want to be sold to their sick of it, they run away from it, they block it, they avoid it, and if they get a whiff that you're selling something, they're not going to walk away, they're going to run away. But if you do concentrate on coming alongside people at their point of need, which is a big thing for banking and help them understand, look, there's hope, as you said, for a better life, a happier life, A healthier life, a wealthier life. And let us really show you that's a great way to differentiate yourself now in terms of how to begin. You know, again, this is quite ironic because I don't want to be sales E but the book that I wrote called known it does work. It really does. And as I look back at my career, if I had to point to one thing that's my greatest contribution to the business world is probably that book I get notes from people every week saying this changed my life, this changed my business so it works. And it's been very, very rewarding and it's basically just...

...trying to figure out what do you want to be known for And one of the things you might ask yourself about your bank, how would you finish this sentence? Only? We That's really hard because you probably have a lot of competition. But I will also say if you dig down deep, I have never had a consultant call with a person or business that we eventually haven't been able to figure it out and by the way it can't be. So we have the best service. Everybody says that right? My garbage collector says that it's got to be really something that goes back to the D. N. A. Of your company. Why are you there? What do you do that as unique value? What's the problem that you solve and how do you solve that uniquely? So it really has to start there and once you figure that out, then you kind of know what to say and who to say it to and where to say. And then also like I said, it means showing up consistently for a small bank. You know, I might think about instagram, I might think about Youtube and also I wouldn't overlook some of the channels that are more youthful oriented, like Snapchat and Tiktok, you know, the Tiktok generation, which I would characterize Typically as being under 18 are very, very money minded. They are, I mean they are savers, they are investors, They want to go for it. So I wouldn't overlook, you know, starting to nurture relationships even down to that level now you've got to adjust to that culture. Right? It might not mean the bank president is pop dance does or maybe it does. So you really need to think about, where are you with the brand? What's different about you and how do you connect in a really authentic and personal way? How do you like I said, be more human in every way in every place. And I think that's, that's where I'm most excited about the future here. Pretty soon. We're going to have jennifer beats Beeston on the show. She's in the mortgage industry and has about 4.5 million views on her YouTube channel. She started it back, I want to say it was like january of 2017. So four years that 25 million views and it's, it's all by just answering people's questions and you know, another, another great kind of approach to this is I can't help but think and I had him on the podcast before Marcus Sheraton with they ask you answer as another way to answer people's questions and you put people, you put other people at the center of all of your thinking, you put other people at the center of all of your doing and everything falls into place. But you're right, if we keep focusing on the internal what we need and we keep...

...position around, you said the great service, I call it great rates, amazing service and commoditize laundry list of look alike features. Because banking has been exponentially commoditized because of digital and Fintech is like a death by 1000 cuts to where they have the primary focus on solving these very specific problems with this. I want to look ahead here to the future because as you know marketing today is not about answering one question which is which is how we can be. How can we be heard? You warn that content? You warn social media, S. E. O. It might not be enough. Even being great is not enough because the way the world is moving, it's it's kind of stacked against us. So we need a new path forward. Can you give us a sneak peek into what this new path might look like? Which is where your latest book cumulative advantage comes into play because I think this is where it all starts to come together to get some momentum going forward onward and upward. Yeah, it really does come together. Someone said to me Mark, you don't realize that you've done this. But the last three books taken together basically give you your blueprint for any small business or or any business or entrepreneur to move forward. Because it really does talk about how do you connect in these modern times? And one of the challenges as you said is look, it is really hard to stand out. Even if you're doing your best work, you might just feel like you're getting buried James. I saw some information, I think there's a week or two ago about the amount of information that's on linked in and the amount of information being published on linkedin has doubled since the pandemic started. So arguably If your goal is to connect with people through linked in your job has become twice as hard in the last 12 months. So I was like, you know, I want to figure this out, I'm just obsessed about this. And if you look at my career, basically, what I've been obsessing about for the last at least 12 years is how do we stand out, how do we cut through the noise and become the signal? And I thought, look, if you're stuck, how do you have momentum to get to the next level? What is momentum, What does it take to get carried forward? And I learned that there is, there has actually been a lot of research on this, But the problem is a lot of the research, most of it was really started in the 1960s, has kind of resided in academia and hasn't really been applied to our, to our lives and our businesses. So I explored this idea and there's some very, very surprising insights in there that most momentum really starts by chance. It starts by something random, and certainly that's been true...

...for my career. So that's part of the hope of this, is that you don't need any sort of Ivy League degree or $1 million dollars in the bank, that you can create momentum just by really kind of by paying attention. Sure. So it talks about being aware of where you are, what are your strengths? What could create an initial advantage that leads to momentum? And then I also talk in the book about a new way to look at strategy. I think this is especially important for banks when I was a young guy growing up a business, It was about, you know, a 250 page plan and a five year plan of strategy and the world moves so fast today. And we see this, especially with the pandemic strategy today, is about looking for fractures in the status quo, through shifts that are occurring, where we can be relevant in that moment. Now, we just are experiencing the biggest fracture in the status quo, maybe in the history of the human race, which is this pandemic, everything is changing. How we work, how we play, how we learn, how we connect, how we date, how we teach our Children, how we work out. And all of these are business opportunities because there are unmet and underserved needs. Same with banking, we need to think about what's our only we, what is our strength right now? Where are the seams? What is fracturing? How do we charge through that scene? How do we connect and let people know you've got this specific problem right now, we're going to charge through and we're gonna help you and we're going to do it more boldly more rapidly than our competitors. That's what creates value today. It's really a very different way of looking at strategy, but it works and it's happening all around us last March, I predicted there would be more startups in America than any time in history. This is at the beginning of the pandemic and I was right because there's so much opportunity and we've had a lot of business failures, tragically, we've actually had more startups than failures during the pandemic. You're right. And it does come down to that one word. It's opportunity. And for me, the opportunity, the greatest opportunity right now is banking really comes back to what you were mentioning before. It's, it's revisiting the purpose of the organization. Like why are we here to begin with in the first place? Have we gotten trapped into what I call the cave of complacency to where it feels safe? It feels secure, but it creates a pseudo sense of security where let's come out of that cave, let's ascend to the apex of awareness and let's look...

...behind us of where we've been, let's look down the mountain where we're at and then let's look ahead to the horizon line at where we can go next and put the transformation of people at the centre over the transaction of just commoditize dollars and cents. Here's what I would like to hear from a bank right now, I'd like my community banks, I like the leader of the bank, maybe to make a video, maybe put it on their site or get it on social media and say, look, we know you're suffering right now, we're suffering ourselves. We've had people sick, we've had people experience all kinds of tragedy during this pandemic. We know you're hurting, we know you're suffering. Maybe you can't get into a bank, let us know, call us. Do you need us to come see you. Do you need us to have a zoom call? You know, look, we're here with you, we're here with you. And no matter what happens, we're going to be by your side, we're gonna get through this together, right? I want that bet more than I want to know what the latest mortgage rate is. I want to hear that heart, I want to know that somebody cares. I want a bank president to say if you're not getting what you need right now, just call me. Here's my phone number. There's nothing more important I can do right now than to show up in this community and how people get through this pandemic and look, you know, I'm going to do it, that's what people need. That's and you know, it goes back, who's gonna be the mattress mack of banking, right? Who's going to show up in their community and become legendary? Absolutely. And to me, I always in this podcast with a very practical application, you just proceeded the question of what is one small simple step? Because to me, all big change, all big transformation starts with a very small simple step. That is what I think that everyone listening can take today, share this internally, because there is no better way to communicate emotion then through video and video has become so much more simplified to communicate emotional at scale. Mark, this has been such a fantastic conversation. If someone is listening, they want to continue this conversation with you, what's the best way for them to reach out? Say hello? Obviously they can grab your books on amazon, but one of the other ways that they can connect with you well. Sure. And first of all, James, thank you so much and thank you for actually being familiar with my work and my books because that just made this such a joy to have a conversation like this. My name is Mark Schaefer. It's hard to remember how to spell Schaefer, but if you can remember, businesses grow, you can find me so that businesses grow dot com, you can find my podcast, my blog, my books, my social media connections and lots of free stuff for businesses of every size. Thank you so much Mark and thank you...

...all for joining me on another episode of banking on digital growth as always. And until next time be well, do good and make your bed. Thank you for listening to another episode of banking on digital growth with James robert. Ley like what you hear, tell a friend about the podcast and leave us a review on apple podcasts, google podcasts or Spotify and subscribe. While you're there to get even more practical improvement insights, visit www. Dot digital growth dot com to grab a preview of James roberts, best selling book banking on digital growth or order a copy right now for you and your team from amazon Inside you'll find a strategic marketing and sales blueprint framed around 12 key areas of focus that empower you to confidently generate 10 times more loans and deposits until next time. Be well and do good. Mhm.

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